Our vision changes drastically at night; we lose much of our depth perception, our ability to see colors and our peripheral vision. And our vision is further impacted by the glare of oncoming traffic after dusk.
Glare is any light source that impairs our vision, such as other drivers’ headlights. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received an increasing number of complaints from drivers about headlight glare.
NHTSA explained: “Many drivers described being ‘blinded’ for a few seconds after exposure to the glare and needed to slow down, while others mentioned their involvement in a crash or a near miss. Glare, especially due to increasing intensity, often causes discomfort to the driver as well as vision obstruction that may contribute to the occurrence of a crash.”
Tips for Reducing Glare at Night
To reduce glare and stay safe on the roads at night, try the following tips:
- Look to the right. When a car approaches – particularly if it has its high beams on, avoid looking directly at the lights. Rather, shift your gaze to the right and keep your eyes on the white line, recommends the AAA Foundation. You’ll avoid direct glare and still be able to see the oncoming car with your peripheral vision.
- Adjust your rearview mirror. Change your rearview mirror to the “night” setting with the lever on the mirror. You’ll still be able to see cars’ lights behind you, but they’ll be much dimmer.
- Avoid using lights inside your vehicle, which temporarily can impair your vision at night.
- Wear eye protection during the day. Daytime glare from the sun can cause eye strain and affect your vision at night, notes AAA, so wear a good pair of sunglasses during the day.
- Ask your doctor about anti-glare glasses. If you wear prescription glasses, ask your optometrist about no-glare corrective lenses. Also, check your glasses for scratches, which worsens glare.
- Clean your headlights. Dirty headlights can block up to 90 percent of light and greatly reduce your visibility, according to AAA.
- Take breaks. If you’ve got a long night trip ahead of you, take frequent breaks to rest your eyes and to stay alert.
Prepare Your Car
Make sure your windshield is clean before driving at night. Smudges and streaks not only can prevent you from seeing what’s on the road, but also refract light and worsen glare. Keep the inside and outside of the windshield clear to avoid this problem. If you notice any chips or cracks, have them repaired immediately.
Be Mindful of Other Drivers
Also take simple steps to avoid blinding other drivers. First, use your high beams considerately. Use mainly your low beams and use high beams only when necessary.
If another driver is using high beams and fails to dim the lights as you approach, slow your speed and ensure you have your car under control.
This is important not only for safety reasons, but also for liability purposes. If you are in a car accident because you were blinded by the other driver’s lights, the courts might determine that you were at least partially at fault.
Legal Help After an Indiana Car Accident
If you were recently in a car accident caused by glare, speak to an attorney about your case to determine liability, and argue fault on your behalf if necessary.
If you suffered injuries after an Indiana car accident, contact our car accident lawyers at Hensley Legal Group for help. Call us today to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation consultation.